The base price for the canine and feline teeth cleaning is $295. Each cleaning includes an oral examination of your pet's mouth by an experienced veterinarian. Also included are the following:
What IS included in this price?
1. General anesthesia and oral examination of your pet's mouth by an experienced veterinarian.
2. Supragingival (above the gum line) plaque and tarter removal using calculus removing forceps, hand instruments, and power scaling equipment.
3. Subgingival (below the gum line) scaling, root planing, curettage. This includes removal of plaque and calculus from the root surface, and smoothing of roughened root surfaces by debrideing diseased cementum and removing embedded calculus.
4. Polishing. This smooths out the defects and removes plaque missed during previous steps.
5. Irrigation. Water spray and a chlorhexidine gluconate solution are commonly used to clean the teeth and mouth.
What is NOT included in this price?
- Treatment for other underlying medical problems, such as mouth lesions, growths, severe periodontal disease.
- Dental x-rays are not included.
- Pre anesthesia bloodwork. Bloodwork helps determine certain underlying medical conditions with your pet that could go unseen.
- IV Catheter. An IV catheter during anesthesia is very important to maintain your pet's blood pressure and to provide an emergency port of access, if needed.
- Pain control. This includes a pain injection during the dental cleaning and pain control to go home. Dental cleanings can be uncomfortable for your pet, and the pain control helps maintain comfort.
- Antibiotics to go home. Every pet will receive an antibiotic injection during the procedure, but it is also recommended that your pet receive antibiotics to go home to help prevent infection after the procedure.
Proper Dental Care - Common Signs of Dental Problems
Considered by many to be a secondary concern, most pets are receiving adequate dental care only as a luxury. Even those who are concerned with their pet's oral health may be overlooking the symptoms of diseased gums and teeth.
If you are concerned that your pet may have an oral health problem, look for any of the following symptoms:
- excessive chewing on one side of the mouth
- sudden and extreme lack of activity
- reluctance to eat
- bad breath
It can be easy not to take any of these symptoms seriously, however, they may be signs of tooth decay and gum disease. While these conditions may not seem life threatening, they can cause more serious health problems. Ignoring your pet's oral health can actually shorten their life.
Complications Associated With Poor Oral Health
When gum disease reaches the root canal in your pet, it can easily spread throughout the body. This spreading is believed to cause bacterial infections in the blood which can lead to a long list of other complications. One of the more common problems that many veterinarians believe stems from poor oral health is long term damage to the immune system.
At first, the body is able to fight off infection. However, continued subjection to these bacterial infections can break down your pet's ability to fight them, therefore weakening their immune system. Other potentially fatal complications related to poor oral health include:
- heart problems
- kidney disease
- joint problems
- liver disease
Because these problems are irreversible, proper dental care for your pet is absolutely essential. Negligence in this area may cause irreparable damage.
According to recent studies, approximately 80% of all pets experience some sort of potentially detrimental gum disease by the age of three. This means that preventative care should begin as soon as your pet's teeth have completely matured.
There are several steps that can be taken to provide your pet with the best oral health care available, most of which are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your pet's health routine. Some of the most popular options include:
- daily brushing
- using rope toys to remove tartar
- chew products
- solutions containing anthium dioxide
While daily brushing is the most effective method of tartar removal, chew toys can be a great way to remove tartar when brushing is not an option. These toys are not to be used as a total replacement for brushing, however.
Pet dental care solutions containing anthium dioxide can also be used to break up food particles causing bacteria in the mouth. These solutions are labeled as oral care products, and are usually applied to your pet's water supply daily.
How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth
Brushing your pet's teeth can be a bit complicated at first, however, a little practice and training will make it an easy daily task. First, never use human toothpaste in your pet's mouth. The harsh detergents and chemicals are not tolerable, nor are they healthy if ingested.
Pay a visit to your local pet store and purchase a specially formulated bottle of toothpaste, as well as a toothbrush. You can also find toothbrushes at your veterinarian's office.
Begin the process by slowly introducing your pet to the brush. Let them look at it and do a bit of investigating so they do not mistake the item for something harmful. This will help them feel like they have a bit of control in the situation. Slowly separate the upper and lower lips, exposing the teeth. It is not necessary to open the mouth completely.
Next, touch your pet's teeth and gums with your fingertips, gently massaging them. When your pet becomes comfortable with this process, introduce the toothbrush slowly. Work the brush up and down, being careful not to scrape the gums.
Allow your pet a few days to get accustomed to this new procedure, and you'll find they may even begin to enjoy it rather than resist. If daily brushing is not a possibility for you and your pet, consider several weekly brushing sessions instead.
When to See a Vet
While proper dental care for your pet can actually reverse previous damage, there is a point where your actions may no longer be helpful. Rather than further aggravating your pet's condition, see a vet if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- extreme redness or purple gums
- discolored gums
- excessive bleeding
- broken or chipped teeth
- dark, decaying teeth
- thick yellow or brown tartar buildup
Any of these signs may be indications of an already existent disease that requires more than brushing. Examine your pet's teeth each month and look for any signs of disease.
While brushing and any of the above mentioned methods are great preventative care measures, they can't guarantee that you pet will never suffer from an oral complication.
Therefore, make brushing, preventative care, monthly home checks, and yearly veterinarian dental checks a permanent part of your pet's life. These measures will be sure to form a happier life for you and your pet!